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Question 164

Q: I heard Dr. Lutzer say that the very words of the Bible were not dictated.

Later you stated that “the… Scriptures are ‘God breathed’, the very words used are from God.” I’m sure you believe in the verbal, complete inspiration of the whole Bible, as I do, yet your two statements seem to be in conflict. Could you please explain them?  

Asked by: Ken

A: Ken the answer is yes, I do believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.

Here’s what happened. God so superintended the human writers that as they wrote, without overriding their natural styles, they were guided to write what they did, and they stayed within the bounds of truth even though, in most instances, they were allowed to use their own style.

For example, Paul had a certain style, Mark had a certain style, other writers had their own style, and all of that was legitimate, but they were superintended in such a way that they would not overstep the boundaries, so that everything that they wrote was true and accurate.

Now let me give you an example, Mark liked the present tense. He would say, Jesus goes to Jerusalem; Jesus heals a man, that’s a rough translation. Matthew might talk about the very same event and say that Jesus walked to Jerusalem. Mark says that Jesus goes to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was saying you can express that in whichever way you want, but at the same time what you’ll write will be completely accurate and inspired. That’s why I can say, on the one hand, that the Bible was not dictated because most of it wasn’t. The Ten Commandments were, and a few other parts of the Old Testament, but much of it wasn’t dictated. And yet, at the same time, what the writers wrote was God breathed and accurate. Holy men of God, the Bible says, wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and that’s probably the best way to say it. Thanks for your question Ken, and God bless you.

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